'We are demanding change': the Somali woman taking on international NGOs

The Guardian, 21 March 2016, Imogen Wall

“We are demanding change,” Degan Ali, executive director of the Kenyan-based NGO African Development Solutions (Adeso), told the audience. “Be prepared to be uncomfortable.”

She wasn’t kidding. Over the last few years, Ali has led the charge of small, local, predominantly southern organisations – the kind who do most of the work, yet receive the smallest share of funding – against the northern humanitarian establishment. She has described the sidelining of local organisations as “grotesque”, highlighted the derisory 2% that local organisations currently receive directly of humanitarian funding, and accused the entire sector of racism.

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